Porto Azzurro: it is located in a protected bay of the Gulf of Mola, used since ancient times as a natural port in the Tyrrhenian sea routes
. In the early 1600s were the Spaniards , following the advice of Admiral Andrea Doria from Genoa, to want a bastion on the promontory that closes the bay on the eastern side. The task was given to Garcia from Toledo who elaborated the project choosing the Bastion in Anversa as pattern.
Together with Forte (bastion)Focardo, on the other side of the gulf, it constituted "the defensive system of the Gulf of Mola, base of the fleet of Philip III. This defensive system aimed to contain the military rise of the Tuscan Grand Duchy that with the fortification of Portoferraio had a strategic fortress in the Tyrrhenian sea and the Spanish interests in this part of the Mediterranean could be menaced by it. In 1714 it was annexed to the Kingdom of Naples and in 1801 it was given up to the French who had occupied the whole Tuscany.
. In 1815, after the fall of Napoleon, it was annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany until the unification of Italy. During the XVIII and XIX century, along with Portoferraio an Marciana Marina, it was the most important fishing center in Elba, aiding the immigration of fishermen coming from Naples, Ponza and Genoa, immigration that is continued until recent times. In the surrounding area the inhabitants apply themselves to an agricultural activity (above all fruits and wine), supporting the seaside tourism. There you can see beautiful cultivated fields, as in the plain of Mola and valleys of Monserrato and Reale.
PLACES OF HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL INTEREST
Sanctuary of Our Lady in Monserrato, that was built by the Spanish Governor y Leon in the XVII century. The image of the Virgin, preserved in this Sanctuary, is the exact copy of the one in the Sanctuary in Spain.
S.Giacomo´s (James) Bastion,home of the penitentiary, Spanish fortress of the XVII century; there are interesting handicraft works on sale.
Spanish Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the marble monument devoted to the Gen. Diego D´Alarcson.